Application process now open for Episcopal Church Constable Fund Grants

Episcopal Church Office of Public Affairs
Posted Dec 8, 2020

The application process is now open for the Constable Fund Grants for the 2021 grant cycle. The Constable Fund provides grants to fund mission initiatives that were not provided for within the budget of The Episcopal Church, as approved by General Convention 2018, with a stated preference for work in the area of religious education. In 2020, Constable Grants ranged from $2,500 to $50,000.  The 2020 grants totaled $209,500.00, distributed among nine grant recipients.

The Constable Fund Grants are named for Marie Louise Constable, who was a visionary and philanthropist. In 1935, during the Great Depression, Constable made a monetary gift to The Episcopal Church to establish the Constable Fund. Her desire and intent to add periodically to the fund during her lifetime was realized and culminated with a very generous final gift at the time of her death in 1951. The language of Constable’s will provides that the fund exists “in perpetuity … to apply the net income for the purposes of the [Domestic and Foreign Missionary] Society, preferably for the work in religious education not provided for within the Society’s budget.”

For the purposes of the Constable Fund, religious education is defined as follows: Religious education forms Christians for active service through a process of critical reflection on the events of daily life in light of the Gospel. It is also a procedure by which we examine and reflect on how faithfully we engage in that service and in formation.  By learning to see more clearly God’s living presence in the world— Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—a Christian is prepared for Christ-like, loving service to God, neighbor, and all creation. (Adapted from “Called to Teach and Learn, a catechetical guide for The Episcopal Church”.)

All applications for a Constable Grant must go through a pre-screening process before being submitted to the Constable Fund Grant Review Committee. Three distinct groups are eligible to apply for these grants.

Individuals, congregations, or dioceses
Individuals, congregations, and dioceses must submit their grant proposals to their provinces for consideration.  Each province may then approve only one grant application for submission to the Constable Fund Grant Review Committee. Such applicants must provide verification that their application has been approved by their provincial governing body as its official grant application.  Only applications with provincial approval from within the nine provinces of The Episcopal Church will be considered.

An interim body of the General Convention of The Episcopal Church
Applications submitted by interim bodies shall be signed or endorsed by the chair of the interim body.  An interim body may only submit one application.

A program office or staff department of The Episcopal Church
Applications from program offices or staff departments are (1) to be for staff or program office projects and (2) require the endorsement of the responsible Canon to the Presiding Bishop. Staff departments and program offices may only submit one application each.

Applications shall include information on other grants applied for or received, including those from funds of The Episcopal Church, for the project for which the application is submitted or for substantially similar projects.

Applications shall include plans to deal with COVID-19 pandemic issues, including travel restrictions, church and/or civil, social distancing requirements, if such issues are expected to continue to be present during the time period in which the grant is to be used.

Deadline for applications is February 15, 2021. Grants will be reviewed by the Executive Council’s Constable Fund Grant Review Committee, and its recommendations will be submitted for review first to the Executive Council’s Joint Standing Committee for Mission Within The Episcopal Church and then to the Executive Council for final approval.  Recipients will be notified after the Executive Council takes final action on the grant recommendations.

Please note the following for dioceses of The Episcopal Church: Applicant understands that should its local diocese fail to pay its assessment in full or to apply for and receive a waiver, the diocese and the applicant shall be ineligible to receive grants or loans from the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society unless approved by Executive Council See Canon I.4.6, Constitution and Canons of The Episcopal Church.

For more information contact the Rev. Molly James, Deputy Executive Officer of General Convention,, 212-716-6048, or Mr. George Wing, chair of the Constable Fund Grant Review Committee,